Trek to Lama Dal from Chamba
The district of Chamba is blessed with a number of water bodies. Apart from numerous rivers and streams, the district has five major lakes, located in its different parts; they are Khajjiar, Chamera, Gadasru, Manimahesh and Lama Dal. Among them, Lake Gadasru is located near Tissa in Churah Tehsil. Lake Khajjiar and Chamera, on the other hand, are located close to Chamba and are easily approachable by motorable roads. If you intend to spend some quiet hours away from hassle and bustle of city life, these are places to go. In fact, these two lakes have turned into favorite picnic spots for the people of Chamba and Dalhousie.
About Lama Dal Lake
Lama Dal is located to the east of the city of Chamba at an altitude of around 3960 meter above the sea level. The distance between the two is barely 45 km as the crow flies. However, the road distance is much more. The lake, with a circumference of about 2.5 kilometer, is not only the longest in the group, but also the largest in the district. Kareri Lake, another popular trekking destination, is located across the Benaili Pass in the district of Kangra at a distance of 3 km from Lama Dal.
Trekking Route to Lama DalContrarily, if you are fond of camping and trekking Lake Manimahesh and Lama / Lam Dal offer the best opportunity. Both of them are approachable via Bharmour (59.4 Km from Chamba). While the Manimahesh trek takes you through Hadsar the Lama Dal trek takes you through Bharmour, Chatrari , Barie, and Drakund. For more information on the Manimahesh trek you may refer our page on Manimahesh Yatra from Chamba.
Bharmour on the way to Lama Dal
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In addition, there is also a Mountaineering Institute located at Bharmour. You may also approach them for reliable guidance. The town is also famous for its Chourashi Temple Complex consisting of 84 ancient temples and Bharmani Mata temple. The later is located on a ridge and many experienced trekkers recommend a trek to Bharmani Mata temple for acclimatization purpose.
From Bharmour to Chhatrari on the way to Lama Dal
The village is also famous for a Shakti temple built in 680 AD. It is made out of wood while the roofing is built out of slate. The outer wall of the temple is painted with vegetable dyes and depicts different Hindu gods and goddesses. The idol of Shakti Mata, the main deity, is made out of Panchloha, which is actually an alloy of five metals. A stone idol of Gugga, the legendary sculptor of Himachal Pradesh, also finds a place by the side of main deity. Stone idols of Shakti Mata can also be seen outside the shrine. It is believed that those were the original idols that were worshiped before the metal idol was installed.
Chhatrari can be reached directly by motor vehicles (mostly jeeps) from Bharmour or by trekking through Gehra. The village has a Forest Dak Bungalow and also a PWD guest house and so if you intend to spend a night here you can comfortably do that.
From Chhatrari to Barie on the way to Lama DalIf you are traveling by jeep, you will reach Chhatrari by afternoon. In such a case, we would advise you to move on to Barie, a small village located at a distance of 12 km from Chhatrari and 50 km from Bharmour. The motorable road ends at this place and so the actual trek starts from here. In addition, the place does not offer any accommodation and so if you intend to spend the night here, you will have to spend it in tents. If you have time you may also visit Samra for acclimatization purpose.
From Bairie to Drankund on way to Lama DalThe next destination, Drankund, is located at a distance of 10 km from Barie. After crossing the Barie village you encounter a Lam Dal Nallah; follow it and walk through a dense forest area. The gradient is gradual in this stretch and so it does not take you long to reach your destination. It is better to spend the night here and start afresh for your final destination the next morning. Drankund houses a Forest Dak Bungalow. You may stay here or use your own accommodation.
From Drunkund to Lama DalOne should start the final trek early in the morning because today we enter the land of seven lakes. They are Lam Dal, Naag Dal, Kali Kund Dal, Chander Koop Dal, Dham Ghodi Dal, Sukh Dal and Naag Chatri Dal. The Baneli Pass, which is also referred as the Minkiani Pass, is located close by. The distance to be covered is 12 km, but an amateur trekker may take five-six hours to cover it.
You start your trek with a gradual climb through a forested area; soon enough it becomes steeper and the tall trees are replaced by a wide stretch of grassland. That too is soon replaced by big and small boulders. The trek becomes slower and more tiring. However, your mood changes as you reach your destination. You simply feel exalted.
Lama Dal by Baneli Pass
Lama Dal is the origin of Lama Dal stream, which flows westward to form three more lakes. The water of both the lake and the stream is crystal clear. This is because the mountain in this stretch is largely made up of granite.